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today we must declare this this violence and intolerance has no place among our united nations. the president there wrapping ppg the agenda, several fast moving political and diplomatic developments from president's speech before the u.n. to both candidates taking the sta today at the clinton global initiative. and this hour wel he liv fritmnn pl foeducation, his live sit down interview with brian williams just moments away. but first president's address happening as he comes under rapid fire overthe upheaval in the middle east. arkevicet l tideotape that defended the right of free speech. and just one hour after mitt romney took the president to task this morning at the clinton global initiative. >> i'lnever apologize to america. i believe that america has been one of the greatest forces for good the word has eve known.
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wean hd that knowledge in our hearts with humility and unwavering conviction. >> this follows 24 hours of the president being hammered by the right for the bump in the road remarks that he made about the middle east in the 60 minutes oignterview. >> there axtradina tsngn m east and considering them as bumps in the road shows a person who has a very different perspective as world affairs than the perspective i have. >> turn on the tv and it reminds you of 1979 tehran. pi our flagsn they're storming our embassies. we've lost four of our diplomats. and what is the signal that our government is sending the rest of the world? >> joining me now is traveling press secretary for the obama campaign. great to hav you here >> goodmorning. >>t tmivedy that if we need to interrupt and jump out of this because mitt romney will be sitting down with brian williams. so i just want to give you fair warning that we may have to jump
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over tohat. but as we have heard, everybody has been tough on the predent oue idt not having any by lot ral melateral meetin planned and here's what he had to say. >> he's not doing the jobf being president, he's doi the job of candidate. president obama has deced at a ti grave csis thate res um toaha he can take the time not to be president for the next six weeks and let it just play itself out p. >> as we look back over history in 2004, george w. busheld five bilateral meetings at the u.n., last year president obama had 13 one-on-one meetings. just usi the esident'n plf inrot year, is this a missed opportunity to meet with the current leaders at the u.n. and also allow republicans the sclans to hammer him on foreign policy which was one of his strengths as president and on the campaign? >> as you kw, i spend quite a bit ofeh si t treling around the country
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and i can tell that you protecting the american people, making sure we're continuing to improve our relationships in the world, having those conversations with world leaders, it's a core priority of his. and just the last few weeks alone, he's had out half a don calls with these same worlles. a4 hour span evaluating that in the meetings he has during a 24 hour span is hardly an eavailedation evaluation of the leaderip and streth he'shown. theids chththetic aack. n. comes as iran has been firing test missiles today trying to flex its military muscle and the romney camign saying the president has not been tough enough, calling it a crisis of leadership. did theresintea ter to unfolding events in the muslim world across the middle east as a bump in the road? was that a mistake? >> let me be clear here, thomas. the president has talked about
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how the mide east is going through historic reforms right now. when heave his speech in cao, 3/2 yea ago, he said these reforms will n be on a straight line. we know this is going to be hard. and we're committed to do it. it's pretty rich coming from a candidate who every time he dips forgnatt' disaster. the president has killed osama bin laden, december a mated al qaeda, brought the international community together to rally against iran.a mated al qaeda, brought the international community together trally against iran. he's shown leadership that speaks for itself. and so we're not goingo be dr ihi ridiculous debate with a candidate who has shown no ability to serve as commander in chief. >> and because of the recent turbulence that we've seen eript egypt and watch that cry turn democratic, the president also facin of not meeting with
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president morsi. this is what morsi told cbs news this morning. take a listen. >>nsr:wawa it was not hot. >> what's the difference in warm and hot? >> translator: it's the same difference between friendship and being an enemy. you are friends. >> translator: for sure. we are friends. >> allies? >> translator: the u.s. present said otherwise. >> so jen morsi finisng up his statements concerningheth o t e ionre ally or a foe at this point. egypt has always been an ally of this country, a very important ally of this country. has the president sent mixed signals to our allies?
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>> no, i absolutely do not think y , e w president morsi just in the last ten days. he spoke with president netanyahu in the last two week. they had more than an hour long conversation. he has ongoing dialogue with these leaders as do secretary of state hiary inton as does ny people from hisoreign po am. ds committed to making sure we're doing everything we can to addresshe issues that are going on in the middle east, making sure we can protect diplomats who are serving overseas. and this is something he wakes up every day and is focused on even long befe thris happedtew weeks ago. >> the president's campaign is launching a new offensive on romney over taxes, the 47%. here's what the president had to say in that taping with "the view." >> governor romney on "60 minutes" was asked does he think it fair that he pays a lower tax rate than somebody making $50,000 a year.
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and he said yes. i think it's fair and i also think that's the way you get economic growth. i've just got a different vision about how we grown economy. om me nro t you grown ecomy the top down. >> so jen the campaign is also out with a new tv ad targeting governor romney. at this stage should the president be more focused on laying out specific policy proposals, spefics for those undecided voter ohere tha ar ry g to turn this election instead of wasting time attacking mitt romney? >> well, the president has laid out countless specifics whether it's the american jobs act or whether it's his plan to responsible bring down the decit by $4 trillion is is sfiha ng of our ears specifics. mitt romney -- this debate and the issue you raised is more about how they see the country and mitt romney has made clear and i was watching that interview with absolute disbelief as i'm sure many americans were that he thinks
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peopleaking $5000 ye that's a fire fighter, a nurse, a teacher, those people should pay 1 a. higher rate than people making millions. and this is a real difference between their views of the world,hat i views of country and whatheir priorities are and how their prities will impa t plans. d ts cal debate in this election over the next 40 something days. >> i have to ask you, though, because you've been getting a lot of krcritics about the fact that the president would sit with the ladies "the view and not take any onon-ones. tew helthem, it's just the timing. why not wait and instead of opening up such a vulnerable attack from the right. >> thet rtther is that the president speaks to these world leaders all the time. he speaks his national -- we're
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talking about a short chunk of a day where he had the opportunity to speak to millions of people acss the countrs . there's always a balance that he's striking as governing the country, as dealing with world tragic ents and as being out on the campaign trail. he's doing the best he can in striking that and he'll continue to make -- addressing the eves in the middle eas a top priority over the coming weeks. >> i'd be happy to have him here. >> i'll tell him that. >>en, thank you so much for your time. nice to see you. so just minutes from now, mitt romney will sit down with nbc's bria williams to offer his ideas for tningy r fag schools. it's part of nbc's education nation summit and we'll take that interview live from the new york public library as soon as it happens. but joining m right now is u.s. secretary of education arne duncan. it's great to have you here. mitt romney and others have
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cuof president of putting teachers unions ahead of school kids, the prime example what we've seen out of chicago that put some 350,000 students out in the cold wit no classroom to go to. what do you say to the krcritic that are using that example? >> it's a fse choice and we haf rk tetheon ouno wants a strike. teachers did not want it. but at the end of the day, chicago got to a great place. they have a great contract that honors and respects teachers and values as the professionals they are and it continued to help drive the reform movement in wee p politics and ideology to the side. we have to educate our way to a better economy and we need to stop pitting people against each other.
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>> would not thiromney said it t the ate level, not the federal level. y agree with that l leadership vision and approach? >> i think there's an appropriate federal role, there's an appropriate state role, there's an appropriate local role. i think where there's a huge contrast is what president obama and i fundamentally believe is that education is an investment. kee eve sgle child hase to a world class education. congressman ryan's budget, they view education as an experience, something that can be cut. so we've invested hundreds of millions of doars. probably the bestnvestment we can make wet tontie to invest in k-12 reform. we want to kin to make college more affordable. we've had the biggest increase in spepell gras since world war ii. the contrast underongrsman ryan he ryan's budget, they would cut head start programs,
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significantly less resourceses for children with disabilities and children who live below the pofrly line and potentially devastating cuts toigher education. that's not where we ne to go as country. >> we'll leathere for right now because as we've been telling everybody this morning, mitt roy in thmney will be spea with brian williams from the new york city public library. th're not ready, but as we talk specifically aboutt ey w ye talking about what congressman ryan's budget plan, mitt romney's specifics are more about vouchers, so that people can choose school choice systems like a crter school for their own kids. where is the distinction in that? becae one thing heralded in chag thehe ftha 52,000 kids there actually went to school -- excuse me, let's go into brian wilams th mitt romney.
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>> thank you, everody. lemess yhere more burly people with weapons in this building right now than ever before. but enough about steve's senior stf. reer grateful that governor romney has chosen to join us today. we have heard from the president so far today in his interview with savannah guthrie as steve mentioned while he was appearing diveat the united as it at e nations. governor romney has asked to address you you before we begin the q&a. so he will to that. i will remain off to the side. i'll come up, lead t questioning. and then we will take audienc questions from both himicrophon. so with our thanks for being
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here with us and addressing this topic that is so dear to us, ladies and gentlemen, governor mitt romney. [ applause >> thank u. it's an honor to be here with you and i appreciate thehance that nbc is giving us to come thk about a topic as important as the education of our children. i also enjoy the chance to see brian williams, an american hero. a re champion, a man of character and integrity. it's an honor to be here with him, as well. lemeak ykoow ri. i'm thinking of my children, my five sons. and the experience that i had in watching their education and participating in it. i was lucky to live in the state of massachusetts because our state has and had at e time very good schools.
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as a matter fact, i was plsethatle i waser as governor, the nape exam which tests our kids every two years in english and math, the results came back our fourth graders came out number one in the nation in english and also number one in math. and our eighth graders came out number one in english and number i th so all four of the federal measures that evaluate the effectivenessness of schools, our kids were number one. that had never happened before. and i looked back to understand why our schools had become so succe successful. en my president sadecessors cam together to reform education and they made a number of changes that i think are what helped drive our schools to be so succe successful. one they said, that to graduate from high schoola student was ing havtos graduation exam in english and math and i added science to that, as well, when i was governor. two, they worked on a statewide
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curriculum. it took a number of years, but they had a series of elements they felt students needed to learn. nu tuc of various schools. all the schools actually. and if a school consistently fell below a passing grade, then the state had the capacity to step in, take over the school, remove its leadership, and actually removemeof union contract if they believed those elements interfered with the education of a child. beyond that, i had the chance not just to have this, if you will, the stick if you can't pass the graduation exam you can't graduate, i also worked to put in pleca,n incentive. while i was governor, we passed legislation that said that if you took the exam to graduate and you were among the top quarter in your high school in terms of the grade you got on that exam, then you were entitled to the john and an about a gail adams schors whic wasours tuition
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free at any massachusetts public institution of higher learning. was four years tuition free at any massachusetts public institution of higher learning. in massachusetts, feeses are a lot more than tuition, but it s none the les help and support for young people who were working to get at a higher ucn. ls t1993 legislation opened the door to far more choice by offering a massive expansion in charter schools. that went along witour catholic schools which had long offered extensive choice in massachusetts. and perhaps the most ior lehiroe eti reform effort that went on was increased focus on the teachers, on hiring the very best and brightest we possibly could, promoting them and giving them opportunities to be successful in the classroom. expiencth w is with something i read as i was serving as governor.
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and i read work that was done by a gup called the mckenzie stitute. it's a major international t profit foundation which does research around the world. and they looked at school systems all over the world, compared nations which ones were successful, finland as i recall, singapore, korea, south korea, well as places within the unit stas ere susf th looked at the boston school system, for instance. and looked at all the differences between school stri districts and they said, first of all, within a normal band of population, that the classroom size didn't seem to be dving euali edio that -- obviously at some extreme that would figure into it, but within the normal range that exists inchools, it wasn't classroom size that was driving it. nor was it spending per student. they were surised by both thosegs roniost overwhelming the greatest
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determination -- or determiner he of the success of the school system was the yacht of tqualit teachers in the system and that the very best nationsnd districts in ter of education were tse tt found a way to at trabt ttract the best and br. any pointed out in fin land i think it was that teachers were drawn from the top 5% or 10% of college graduates and they pointed out that too oft in oucountrwe're not drawing ndanhy that was.ayri and pointed out that in other nations, they had better starting salaries for teachers. and they promoted teachers based on their capacity and their skill, the act they had to change lives in classros as opposed to their tenuralone. th ldoo and felt that we were too focused on pensions and post retirement benefits and tenure and not sufficiently focused on starting salaries and helping people get going in their life if they got
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a lot of studentloans, they ich promotes teachers based to upon their success in the classroom. i look at the federal level and i understand that if i'm the next president of the united states as i hope to be, that i don't want to step in and t to run schools for local school ucn largely run at the state level. but i do believe that there is action i can take at the federal level that will have an impt on improving the quality of education andt flows from my experience both as governor and from the experience that have stied educaonuch a the mckenzie institute. rst ai d t osals that i have, money, i would link that money not to the school districts or to the state, but to the
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student. and say to the student you can take that money to the school of your choice. so you and your parents can decide what school you want to go to. anthatf cose wve very different level of school choice than we have today. to help the parents make the choice of which school to send their child to, i would insist that schools are graded on a simple basis tha parents can understand. a through f. the way florida is done. floridha actually done quite a j inayhon e value eight the success of schools and then give to students the opportunity to make the choice of which school they would like to go to. you know some of the statistics from florida. some have said it's going to be hard for hispanic stuntso the population. not so. in florida by virtue of those two changes, if you had a state that was just comprised of the hispanic students of florida, that state would fallight in
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the middle, ranum25 icat anhas been in part because of these extraordinary improvements that have baby brougbe brought into the school system in florida. so those are two things i would do at the federal level. retoeccof nts more choe, aow information about the quality of schools. and also create incentives for school districts and for states to offer more choice in schools, to take away the barriers to charter schools, to take away the barriers to cyber learning to allow students to choe ho w it allowed by law private schools, or cyber learning or even tutorial type sessions. i want to encourage new choe and new information for our parents. gh education, as well.t higher education is also essential to the success of our
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economy and to the well, of so many of our flow citizens an hslinhave excellent institutions. we're a model for the world. but one trend in higher education gives me great concern and that's the rapid growth in the cost of tuition. the cost o hher education. and we're on an sustainable path there. you can't continue to have higher education tuition gw at fln.iple of theef om point something has to give. and we have to find a solution. i have ideas myself in that regard, but i do believe this is something that can't go on. and related to that is the fact that people coming out of institutions of highereag n't nd. ane combination of more and more expensive tuition and fewer and fewer job opportunities this last year with half of our kids graduating without being able to have a full-time job or one consistent with their degree, that's a real oble and ose cne men
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or we'll have a real threat to our higher education system. so i applaud the chance to be able to speak with you today. your willingness to be here. i'm absolutely convinced that for us to maintain our leadership of tld economically, morally, militarily, diplomatically, that america must be the have the ben the word and ld ande know thensr is t invest in great ache. hereanswer. thank you. [ applause ] >>e asked for water for both of us. >> thank you. >> thank you again for appearing here. let's begin with a story from the which i of ccago and sothing very basic about
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education and labor. in your view, should teachers be allowed ri prevent teachers from being able to strike, i just think the most important aspect in being able to have a proceductive relationship between the teachers unions and the districts and the states that they're dealing with is that the omm ld hitting aoss the tle received the largest campaign contributions from the teachers union itself. we have a very unusual system in this country. it's not just related to teachers unions. it relatesore broadly. but people are able to give -- in the case of the democratic party, i don't mn to be , in case of the democratic party, the largest contributors to the democratic party are the teachersunions. and so if they can elect someone, then that person is supposed to be representinghe public vis-a-vis the teachers union, but actlly most ofhe iomem ter it's an extraordinary conflict
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of interest. that's something that should be address addressed. but allowing them to stre on matters such as compensation is un b to beliedo believe the person across the table is representing the public and udents. not the union. >> and another issue that came out of chicago, in your view, what pcentage of a teacher's salary should be determined by test scores? >> dwri don't know that there ia fircge i do believe there should be some connection between the capacity of the teacher to move students grade level to grade level and their compensation. and how you measure that i'm sure we could learn from the experiences of different ol stu that was done this boston where they looked at a student in a classroom and how many improved a full 2k3wr5id grade by the end of the year and there were some teachers that regularly moved virtually all of their students
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a full grade level or more. and there were other teachers who regularly were unaboo th. my view is those that are able to do that should be able to be more highly compensated. and should also potentially become mentor teachers with additional compensation and those that are unable to do that should either develop that skill or phapsind othepathn ediorl aer career all together. that will be few and far between that can't make it in the profession they've chosen, but i do believe those that perform the best however you determine is the the most effective way to measure that should have an opportunity for better compensation. >> this is our third year in a row for this conference. early childhood education looms large as you might imagine every year. and you know the stats about the achievement gap. you know all that can happen or doesn't happen in ahi l bewintkindergarten.
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summer slide is a die namic that puts kids hind. so kids turn six, seven, they're already falling behind. any initiatives ultite bring you would ing toarly childhood educatn? >> i remember being with a group of teaches again in boston and i said you can predict which students will stay in school and be successful and those that dhe teachers all began nodding their heads. they said i don't know that i want to have this on camera. we had a camera in the room at the time. so the camera left. and one said if a parent teaer t, heen show up, then the child will be just fine. if the parents don't show up night after night of parent/teacher conference, that kid probably won't make it through high school. the involvement of parents is an
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enormous advantageor t chil soh ms e education and continuing throughout their career having certainly an advantage to have two parents, but even then to have one parent that stays closely involved th the education of the child and can be at home in those early years of education can be extra narily iorta i aooel that there are many programs that have been highly effective in early education. right here in new york city, jeffrey canada has a program in harlem that's been just remarkably successful in helping bring young people to a posture where they're ready to lrn by the time school starts. and those type of efforts should be evaluated one by one. >> you were lucky now attend kran bro. the cost of a fuel yeais $38,900. do you think we owe as a nation
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every pupil in america the equivalent of a $38,900 education every year? number always equates to how effective the teacher is. i was delighted to have a terrific education at a private institution. that's not available to the entire nation, but will there are teachers in the public system that are every bit as good as those the prite teacher. my fourth grade teach are may ha may have been the best i ever had and she was dedicated to helping her children develop the skills that they needed to succeed. ll figure on it. in the state of massachusetts, dollar spending per pupil wasn't a very good determining factor of how well the student uld do. i remember at one point i looked at all the school districts in mass marks we have 3 51 cies
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and up to, and i plotted spending per student against the achievement of each student in each district. because we test our kids every year, we could see which were doing best in math, english and science. and there was no relation at all. and as a matter of fact, the district that spent the most per l and had t ses classrooms, cambridge, their kids were in the bottom 10% of our state performers. so i realized it's not just money, that it's a focus in how you spend the money, the trating the best and brightest in the ofession, ptinghebe meinefoance of students, giving the students the incentive to excel that's why we put in place the adams scholarship. so i reject the idea that everybody has to have full harvard 1k3e7bs eseel grbe successful. a lot of people have degree from the a lot of our different institutions that are
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successful. some doesn't even complete an education and they're successful. but the key is creatingil thanpohehin education. let's talk about your school choice initiative. you and i last talked about it during our last intview in london prior to the olympics. maybe the antithesis of kranbrooy is denby high school, highest number of returning prisoners in to society of anyplace in the nation in that zip code. among the highest in gang activity. until it was tak over, it had % scess in graduation rate. the kids, if they have a way to get to cranbrook, who is going to worry about dey, who will support that high school, say nothg ofhe psilnt sny our schools are
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crumbling. what's your solution for denby after the kids leave for better options? >> well, i don't know denby terribly well, but i was in philadelphia and i saw a school in the inncity of dee b ithe last five like it or ten years. i think it was k through eighth grade. and i understand that the school was closed down, that 90% of the kids were not reading at grade level. geden gamble, as unccesul african-american, songwriter, got -- took the school over. put this place a charter school. and i went and toured the schl with him. saw the sdents there. i went to a classroom where they re learn to go useomrs ec cteliterate. i went to a room where they were singing and they were in a glee qulu club. he said all the kids mart pay the in glee club. i said how do you afford music
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teachers, art teachers, computer class. business. run thiik this isn't impossible. s as i recall, almost 90% of the students there now are reading at grade level. and it's the same students. in my view, this is not a matter of saying where with can he send a lot of money. we have proven that sending a lot of money to failed schools toay tamechto sa things wl not make any difference. the real key is leadership in drawing the best and brightest of the profession, giving them the right centives, promoting the very bes helping our students have discipline, insisting on the maparticipatio of parents. i fought hard to have parents have a training class before they sent their kids to school. i wanted parents to have to go to a class to learn about edation, to lrn about the culture of ediosut their child. i got some resistance from folks who said the poor ont have time
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to go to your class. i said i'll hold them on sundays, weekends. i want people tound the aths economically depressed, the schools can be the best in the nation. look, this is a matter of the leadership of the schools, the ality of the teachers and the incentives that exist on the part of both parents and teachers for excellence in ucatn. anreo question, you take the very worst school districts with the most troubled student bodies and you put in some of the best administrators and faculty memrs and those schools will turn around. a guy like kenny quinn has proven it. n'cc pha pc ol school in there and let them take a try at it. >> you have said some things about secretary duncan that are so complimentary, you've had to apologize in front of some republican groups. the question is, under a romney
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cry anota on? k >> i haven't chosen cabinet secretaries, but what i liked about and like about -- >> would you consider it? >> i'm not putting anybody ony cabinet right n, brian. it's a little presumptuousf tt like about him is he said, look, i want to have this race to the top program which will give grants to states that encourage innovation and specifically to say we're going to compensate teachers based upon their performance. whicthis r thing. we'll insist on more school choice. i think that's the right thing. so i like the fact that he encouraged those things. i think there are other things i don't go along with. he wants to promote at the same time a national curriculum. i prefero lettaan communities decide their own curriculum. but i do believe that his focus
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on more choice and creating opportunities for the best teachers to be better compensated is a good idea. teaching is a profession. i understand t interest of the terson t teachers union has every right to represent their members in the way they think is best for their members. but we have everyight to in fact say, no, this is what we want to say which is in the best terests of ourhildren. and i believen tht inst ohin to recognize that teaching is a profession, like your profession, like my profession, like lawyers and doctors. and the very best are more highly compensated and reward and measured. we don't just presume that because we've been here for a certain number of yes we should get more and mor pay y . ind,et measured. and if teachers say there's no good measurement system, let's look for one. let's see what does work. let's see if wean agree on some kinds of measures and learn from those things. but i want the best teachers to be highly compented. wa starting teaches, plau
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particularly those with a track record of excellence in learning, i want them to be well compensated, to be drawn into the profession. education is about teachers, great leadership and parents. and the union has a different objective. i understand it's fineor the mo. it's not fine for us just to go along with it. >> one or two more questions and then we'll go to the audience. secretary duncan doelk about identifying and borrowing best practices to use an expression in your wod from allr world, from in-finland or singapore or south korea. it is true that in the past some american education toit are have been a little arrogant about not ulu acstctwhat works oea from other countries? >> of course, recognizing that there are differences between different nations and the cultures of different people. there are differences between
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different states. that's one reason why i wouldn't impose what we did in opanrnm ettsn thnt experience. we learned from the florida experience. that's one of the most relevant experiences of the most recent contraries is to see the reforms jeb bush and his legislature put in place and the positive impact that'sad on theerformance of students in that state. we learned from various states, rnro nnsro schoodirict e world. they learn from us. and cataloging those things. i remember back in the business world i was in, if we were making wheels, we had a business that made wheels for trucks. would i would have loved to look at all the truck manufacturers and sewhathey re dng ery us. we would have learned. but we didn't have a lot of truck wheel factories to go tour. and so best practices were limited to theandful of places we could visit. with schools we have tense of
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thousa ten tens of thousands of districts we can learn from. when i looked, i thought ing could do meas thenl it was a factor, but not the big one. the big factor was the quality of teacherses and how to reward the very best and give people more choice. so do i want to open up our ears to what's beingd around the world, the helessons being leard around the world, yeah, there's nothing good that can come from that. >> audience, we'll come to you stbearu 't miouented the wheel. >> yeah. >> what do you make of common core? >> i think it's fine for people to lay out whathey think that core subjects ought to be and
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being able to pvide that learning to our kids. doscth i th federal government trying to push common core on various states. it's one thing to put it out as a model and let people adopt it as they will, but to finanally reward states based upon accepting the federal government idea of a currulums a mistake. ere may be a time when the government has an agenda that it wants to promote and i'm not wild about the federal government having some kind of agenda that it then compensates states to teach their kids. i'd rather let education and what is tght state by state be rm s bstate, not by the federal government. >> last question from me and i see more than a few people have lined up with questions for you. your dad went on a poverty tour of 17 cities. solytes n t nd w country. and yet at this conference
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what's coming up more and more is poverty. again. and what a componentt is in education. how many teachers have to worry out poverty at home while tr tduchildren. would you consider something akin to what your father did? >> not only woul i consider that, but i get the chance to do that from time to time and that's why for instance i was at th schoolphel w se ws ening there. why i was at jeffrey canada's preschool program in harlem to understand what's happening there and the impact of poverty. and you've seen the film waiting for super manhat he figures in quite prominently, he goes back to talking not oy t olte e chdrenre coming from and how -- he has a program for parents that are getting ready to have a child to prepare the rent to help the child be able as to learn. we have to start very early. so i do in fact embrace the
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approacht mdok take that to a great greel myself. did when i was governor and will continue doing that if and when i'm president. >> governor, thank you. we'll go to questions with the explanation that this audience is diverse, there are teachers, there arstudent, pocymars, even people who god forbid might be pushing a certain agenda. so we'll see what we get. yes, sir, go ahead. >> governor, first of all, thanks for being here. brian williams asked who i responsibleor the kids at am.y hh scol tr i'm state superintendent of schools in michigan and i need to tell you that my personal shame frankly is that we have not been able to make this a better place for kids who are in poverty. and it's rural poverty and is urban poverty. arn j now without k in seven being able to move the ball much in those places where there's high poverty, our focus on
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college and career ready brings me back to one thing. we don't have kids kindergarten ready. and until we can get kids kindergarten ready and bebl ea at grade level by third grade and then they need to read to learn from there on in, we haven't been able to crack that. and it comes back to kind of the early childhood question. what specifically would be your solutions to get kids erenea cr that we do have programs like head start. we can evaluate where they have been effective and where they've been less effective. there are a number of private institutions. i happen to be one of those take that helped get behind a start finae gupalbr horizons learning centers which has been highly effective i believe in preparing young people for education. but i also don't think there's any substitute for the home. and efforts to teach people who are having chiren about the needs of a child and preparing for school a prering t
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educated. i think those efforts are also critically important. that is going to happen in some cases at the hands of government, but also in the hands of private institutions. in boston an effecve effort was carried out by those that d aroupal the ten point compaalition and these are lead of largely african-american churches in the innercity area that made a real effort to reach out to homes and tohange the course of the social life of people who were falling away from school and away from educion. t cna of public and private partnerships as well as early learning centers can help make a difference. but i also can motehat as you look around the worldt th pleshehech are doing the very best and young people are achieving, they found ways to prepare children for school which is not always associated with having the
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government take over early education, but instead in some cases it does, but in some cases as well it focuses on the re >>'se ast fm this side of the room. >> good morning. ed massey from the commonwealth of kentucky. i serve as president of the national school board association and sit on the national pta board, as well. and i wan to know a little more inetail how you view loc school boards and partal lvthe pss of educational reform. >> well, we have great organizations that represent the teachers. we have great organizations tt represent the parents. bui'd like toee them ha morelo i'kese parentsery much involved in evaluating the success of schools. if we had a more transparent system for evaluating the suess of a school a through f, i think schools ought to have report cards the way they do in florida. and if we had that, then if d wors those parents are
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going to be outraged. and they'll want to gather together, become part of pta organizations and talk about taking back the school. we can't say and youave choice to go somewhere else. that's a good thing to have tt ch, wls h t f e sool selfnd parents are oftentimes going to be the impetus, the energy behind real change which must occur in a lot of our local school districts. i imagine you found the same thing. is that right? >> i have. and sitting on a local school at cni engagement isfnd so powerful, if you have parents in schools and you've engaged your community, the school will be successful. regardless of the circumstances. that's what i've found. >> that reminds me about the point about the boston teachers who said if e parents sho up ntchniheid will do just fine. and that just underscores the impact of parents. the idea that somehow schools are entirely separate from the home, from the economic
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circumstances of the me, from the social experiences of the home that's just not reality. the home is an integral part of the education system and the best teachers in the world can't possibly overcome a home pulling in theri dirtiifferent directio. that's why i proposed in my ste that the parents had to go to a training program to learn about the impact of education. i wasn't able to get it done. it's something i wanted to do and something that has merit. we heo pulth pts i education because they are an essential part of the education experience of their child. >> thank you, governor. >> we haveust minutes remaining in our prearranged time, so we'll try to make some something more of a lightning round. go ahead >> goo morning. i'm a forrewk ci ic sltcher. so my question is about the common core. 45 states have already chosen to
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adopt it. and here in new york city, we are full on implementing. and so my queion is since so many states have already adopted, what resources would you give our states and our tersaclyle this successfully for our children? >> well, the states have adopted it on their own. and if they've adopted it freely and think it's a good program, they should be able to implement it. we developed our own coren the state of massachusett we implemeed inur n. and we're able to outdrive our kids to be number one performing in the nation. i don't happen to believe that every time that there's a good ideahe federal government should not finance the implementation of that. we certainly didn't. states have responbili for thucn ohe children, their respective borders. and i'm not looking for more federal spending. i mean, i know it is the nature of politics for someone in my posion to promise more free
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stuff. we'll send money, we'll dhis, d le hales about education. i really care about education. i care so much about our kids that i don't want to saddle them with trillions on trillions of dollars of debt when they come out of school. so i'm not willing to add more spending to get people happy m in ssaok sedcation is done at the state level, the federal government provides spending for special needs students and low-income students but in terms of implementing the common core if you've chosen it, congratulations, work on it and do it within the resources of your o state. >> anotheruestiofromver re >> governor romney, i'm a new york city parent and member of the school board elected in new york city. you talk about choice, but charter schools represent only 4% of the schools at least here in new york, voucrs don't really fill the bill. fow yo cit pts let, and urban parents, choice means improving all of our public schools because otherwise you're nibbling at the edges or
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we'll spend the next 100 years fixing it. how do you create choice through our public school system? what do we need to do? how would you do? w wod yochange our school system so we have choice through our public schools for everyone and not the small minority maybe going to charter schools or vouchers o private schools? >> first of all i note each state and actuay eachistrt inac s hifnt experience. in my state we had much more ample opportunity for choice in part because of the number of catholic schools we had, as well as the number of charter schools we had, bute also could allow students to go to other public schools. they had the capacity not just eist,ut to go beyond. i understand in the case of florida, that their school choice program allows students not to just go to charter schools, but also to other public schools of their choice. and they provi students the capacityak t selection
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and i think that -- i can't tell you what can be done here in new york city but i can tell you it helps a young person to know that they have the ability to make a school choice that they think is consistt with their ucation needs and that if you ghve charter schools that's going to mean choice of different public schools. fundamentally, choice is one of the ingredients of improving our schools, but the key is really the teachers and the schools we already have. and rewarding the very best and brightest, attracting the best into the teaching pressi trngm t professionals they are, giving them the support they need to have and some cases recognizing that the interest of the teachers union may not be entirely coincident with the interest of the students. i don't think we have to put our kids andhe teachersirst and chon behind. i don't know whether waiting for superman was an accurate reflection of some of the issues in the new york city schools but if it was it was very troubling.
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>> if i could say one thing n new york city the parents here, support the union to ptect o kids three to one over the mayor and the chancellor. that's a recent poll. so, to say that the unions are holding back our kids, as a pare and as parents in polls said, the opte they believe that the unions are fighting for our kids and that a lot of the reform has been holding back our kids and against our kids and that this is not -- this is not me. this is coming from a pofl parents. >> i don't believe -- >> in chicago. >> i don't believe it for a minute. i komng about polls, and you can ask questions and get any answer you want and i know this, that having looked at schools, i know that the teachers union has a responsibility to care for the intests of theteachers. and the head of the national teacrsni s o pot, w donarebout kids,
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we care about the teachers. that's their right. but the people who are on the school boards and the parents, they're the people that have the primary interestn the kids. by the way, there maye politicians th don get it ght t bve y h t coize at a union has a different constituency than the parents have. and the people elected to represent the kids whether doing a good job or not i don't know. i can tell you this jeb bush stood up to the teachers unions inlorida and that made a an urhe kids, has b made a difference. i believe that we simply -- we simply can't have a setting wherthe teachers unions are able to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the caaigns of politicia and then those polic w teta aossrom them at the bargaining table supposedly to represent the interest of the kids. i think it's mistake and we got to get the money out of the teachers unions go into
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campaigns. we have to separate that. myame is ni i' hsc sntm w yo and wte book on education. my question is condering that the advent of standardized testing has increased to historic levels, teaching to the test, billions of dollars into sting and really the kilng of creiv iyys, do you change this trend and put students directly in your administration and let them have a voice in this policy decision-making process? >> first of all, you will find thughout your life that there e testsnd donw aay to eluat the progress of students over by evaluating it through testing of some kind or another. if there are tests that are ineffective or thateasure things that are not really relevant, why, obviously, you try to improve theest but you'll hav an s.t.nou uaroghho, wan to go into graduate school
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you'll have an advanced test, g-mat or other test and find throughout your life there are going to be tests. we complain about them. i mplained about them when i was a student ande don't like tests but there's noeray fou out to determine whether a student is succeeding or not succeeding or teacher succeeding or not succeeding. i don't have a better model than saying we're going to evaluate our kids than through a better testing system. we had this graduation exam. om tcher we're having to teach to the tests. i took the exam and i passed it, by the way, but -- although i took it at home so no one really got to see my answers, but, you know, when it got to the math section ere wasom, ala, calculus, trigonometry. these are the topics. i don't know what teaching to the test would mean if it were not teaching basic math skls. on the language side, i read paragrhs and then i wrote dn
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or excuse me cckedffhe thgs'dnn th paragraph. if teaching to the test means learning how to read and write and do basic math skills then there's nothing terribly wrong with that. i added science and so peopl are going to get tested in ology and geology and so forth. th irt w w expect schools to do. what i was concerned about before we had these kind of tests is that we might have faculty members go off on a different tangent from the basic math and english and science skills o kids these to succeed. i'm not going t rlace teg. ulve ive. when no child left behind was passed the author said we'll let each state create your own test and evaluate how well students are doing. i'm going to keep in place the testing and as with regards to student involvement, i hope students areery involved in theolitical pcess a ie esof t quality of your education. i would love to have the students grade the teachers at the end of the year as opposed
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to just the other way around. so that teachers get feedback. we did that when i got to graduate school. we got todeheeas it was published how each teacher did on a whole series of dimensions and helped the teachers. i believe in a lot of feedback. far from being a guy who would say let's stopesting. i try to make our testing more fec tv,xpan ins maybe that haven't been thought of before and recognize we need to drive the quality of education and it's one tool we have to do it. >> going to harvard business school makes you good at taking tests in the future. governor, our teach has reached its conclusion on behalf of all of us affiatedit eti na,haouy ch f taking our questions. [ applause ] you'veeen listeni to
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brian williams tk with governor mitt romney about his thoughts, his leadership vision for this country when it comes to the nation's education. basically letting all of us know he feels it should be to the state level, the federal part of the iluence should be very limiteand also saying that 'sotkioror federal spending, hard choices to be made but saying he's looking out for kids down the line and not having some larger deficit when they get out of school. that's going to do it for this hour. don't go anywhere, "now" with alex wagner is coming up. i know a lot to talk about beuse we've been seein both ckorthhis morning from cgi to the u.n. and now the mitt romney and education nation. >> it is a big day in the big apple, thomas, with everything from education, foreign policy and free speech on the menu. it is tuesday, september 25th, and this is "now." joining me

MSNBC September 25, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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